The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Our Readers Speak

March 12, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Tuesday, March, 12, 2013

ObamaCare upholds the Hyde Amendment

The Register-Herald recently published a letter from Hilda Shorter, president of Raleigh County Chapter Right to Life regarding health reform (ObamaCare) and abortion.

Ms. Shorter suggested that the Hyde Amendment, which restricts the use of federal dollars for abortion except in case of rape, incest or life of the mother, is undermined in health reform. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It’s a complex issue but important for the public to understand that health reform does not broaden the federal government’s role and funding for abortion. My comments are based on a policy brief written by the Kaiser Family Foundation and is available on the web at

Ms Shorter wrote: HHS has issued ObamaCare regulations for health insurance premium supports, including for plans that cover abortion.

As Paul Harvey used to say, “and now for the rest of the story.” Private health plans may cover abortion and women may choose to purchase such coverage. However, no federal dollars may be used for abortion coverage and the dollars used by a woman to purchase coverage must be kept separate and not mingled with federal dollars.

Ms. Shorter wrote: The regulations require all employers to provide birth control coverage, including methods that produce early abortions. The rest of the story is that FDA-approved contraceptives are a preventive benefit which must be made available to women without a co-pay or deductible. Some Catholic institutions, which are philosophically opposed to birth control will not have to pay for birth control.

 I am not aware of any credible research that shows that any FDA-approved contraceptives produce an abortion.

Ms Shorter wrote: The regulations include a mandatory monthly surcharge of $1 for abortion coverage. The rest of the story is that if a woman chooses to buy a plan that includes abortion coverage, the employer or insurance company must manage the premium payment for abortion coverage separately and consequently is permitted a $1 surcharge for the extra paperwork.

The fact is that ObamaCare is carefully structured to uphold the Hyde Amendment and at the same time give women the health coverage they need and want.

Renate Pore

Director of Health Policy

West Virginians for Affordable Health Care

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Our Readers Speak